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Unique Ways to Use a Buffet Hutch

Unique Ways to Use a Buffet Hutch

In general, buffet hutches are used to store and display beautiful collectibles like china, pottery, and tea sets. However, now that the art of repurposing has permeated every area of the furniture world, it can be fun to try and think of new ways that a buffet hutch could be used. Here are six ideas to use your buffet hutch in a way that is both unexpected and pleasing to the eye.

Hallway/Entryway Decor

Most buffet hutches are kept in the dining room of a home since they’re traditionally used to display food and silverware when you’re expecting guests. The most foundational way to change the function of any piece of furniture is to simply move it outside its traditional space. Placing your buffet hutch in a place like a hallway gives your guest a little surprise on their way to the bathroom or a tour of your home. It helps make a sometimes boring space that much more fun. You can still display your glass or pottery, or if you think that may look too out of place, you can consider one of our other ideas for decorating the buffet hutch below. If your hallways are a little too narrow for such a large piece of furniture but you have a large entryway, consider placing it there and giving your guests a pleasant surprise as soon as they walk through your front door.

Living Room/Bedroom Storage

In keeping with tradition, you can still use a buffet hutch for storage, but you can change what you keep inside of it. There are all kinds of things you can keep in the buffet hutch depending on which room you decide to keep it in. Potentially, you could keep the buffet hutch in your living room, which would be ideal because the living room is where your guests will probably spend a lot of their time anyway. Then you can keep things you would need for the living room inside of the buffet hutch, like remotes and DVDs. There’s also the possibility of using the buffet hutch for an entertainment stand, displaying your television there as well. If you’d rather place your buffet hutch in the bedroom, consider keeping extra blankets and pillows inside. Again, the buffet hutch still keeps its original purpose in the sense that it stores things, but the things you store inside of it, and the environment you place it in, can do wonders for the atmosphere of your house.


If the location of your buffet hutch isn’t nearly as important to you as changing what you’re storing inside of it, the rest of these ideas are for you. The first option is that you could use the buffet hutch as a bookcase. This is an especially good option for the college professor or regular bookworm who just has a lot of books and not enough space. If you want to keep the buffet hutch as a special display piece for your friends and family to enjoy, put special thought toward what kind of books you’d like to display. Do you have a doctorate? Consider displaying some of the impressively dense and difficult books you’ve read while pursuing your degree. Are you an avid mystery fan? Show off your impressive Agatha Christie collection. Do you have collectible books that have been passed down through your family for generations? This is a great opportunity to personalize your space and give your guests a little glimpse into who you are and what you value.

Old Family Photographs

Much of the china and glassware we traditionally display and keep in buffet hutches are collections that were passed down from our parents, our grandparents, etc... Consider honoring the past differently by displaying your old family photographs in the hutch and storing old photo albums in the buffet. This can create particularly special moments when you have guests over that are featured in those old photographs. Each picture is worth a thousand words, so as you show your display to any guest, you’ll never run out of stories to share. If you don’t have many older photographs to display, you can always choose newer pictures. New pictures have just as much to say as old ones, especially if you have children or grandchildren, because, let’s be honest, you could go on and on and on about them.


China, dishware, and pottery are indeed collectibles of a kind, but people are different and collect a variety of things that they take pride in. One thing that people collect is specially-aged alcohol, like wine or whiskey. These drinks are generally for special occasions, which means people collect bottles of them on trips and as gifts over spans of years but rarely use them, potentially causing a sort of backlog in their homes. But a buffet hutch could solve that dilemma. With plenty of room above and below, display your oldest bottles of wine or most expensive bottles of whiskey for all your guests to see. If you feel generous, you could keep some glasses and an ice bucket sitting out on the buffet table so that you can share them with your guests. If you’d rather keep these drinks for a special occasion, though, you can use the same mindset as the person who keeps photographs in the buffet hutch and use your display to share stories about how you collected each bottle and the people that each bottle reminds you of.

Coffee bar

The last unconventional idea for how to use a buffet hutch is to make it into a coffee bar. Coffee bars are easy and unique features in any home--easy because all you need to make a coffee bar is a coffee pot, coffee, sugar, creamer, and mugs. You can also decorate it with signs, greenery, and antiques but the basics of what you need for a coffee bar are things you already have in your house and shouldn't be very stressful for the coffee enthusiast to throw together.

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